Joe Herrera comes from a long line of alcoholics and his family lived from paycheck to paycheck. With a lack of ideal role models in his family, Joe got terrible grades and he barely finished high school.
After graduation, he went on a 2-year mission with their church and this experience changed him as a person. Coming home, he knew he wanted to break those generational chains and make something of himself. He also knew he didn’t want to pursue college. Since he believed that he has a talent in sales, he decided to go into real estate.
Several years into the business, Joe decided to shift his focus and start a marketing technology company. Unfortunately, the app they developed was unable to reach the number of daily users they needed and they couldn’t raise the additional funds to keep going and the company eventually failed.
In 2014, Joe went back to real estate full-time. But this time around, he wanted to do something different. He took what he learned from running his marketing tech company, which is the power of social media, and used it as leverage to blow up his real estate career.
Today, Joe Herrera is the Owner/Partner at Joe Taylor Group. He is also the Owner of Love Local Real Estate, Brokered by ΓEA⅃ Broker. He believes that agents should focus on money-generating activities like building relationships and getting deals under contract. That is why they’ve built a system that handles the technology, lead generation, and transaction management side of the business.
Let’s hear from Joe as he shares his journey, his insights on the challenges that the real estate industry is facing, and how his failures led him to success.
08:52 Why building a real estate business is not really a fun endeavor
09:44 Why Joe decided to build a marketing technology company
11:06 How failing at his tech company fueled his successful real estate business
12:17 What led Joe to start his own brokerage
13:37 Is it advisable to sell your independent brokerage?
17:36 The most painful loss his business went through
25:22 The number 1 pain point for broker-owners
27:30 Why they joined ΓEA⅃ Broker
33:23 How Sisu changed the way Joe looks at their team
36:12 Why do more teams today focus on ancillaries?
39:41 Joe’s most valuable possession
Brian Charlesworth 0:35
Alright, hello, everyone. And welcome back to the Grit podcast. Super excited today to have Joe Herrera on with me, Joe. I just met Joe about a month ago. And super excited to have him on with me today. So Joe's background, I know he’s done a lot of things that I want to dive into today from real estate to starting tech companies to being a master marketer. You know, some things that I think a lot of you guys are gonna find entertaining. So anyway, thanks for joining us again, my name is Brian Charlesworth on the founder of Sisu and your host of the show. And so welcome to the show today, Joe. How's everything going?
Joe Herrera 1:15
Awesome. It's great. It's the weather's great here in Vegas. We get about nine months of the year that are awesome. The other three months are terrible, which is why I'm buying a house up in Utah so I can get out of the heat but they do well. Yeah, apparel.
Brian Charlesworth 1:29
Joe Herrera 1:30
I just told my wife last summer. I was like I do this heat. So anyway, we found a house. We're gonna spend some time up there in the summer and Airbnb the rest of the time. It's gonna be awesome.
Brian Charlesworth 1:40
Okay, good for you. I didn't know that. So Vegas. Did you grew up in Vegas?
Joe Herrera 1:45
I did. Yeah. So my dad came home from Vietnam became a telephone installer for the bell network. So PacBell Became Nevada Bell. So I was born in Carson City. We moved down here in Vegas on lifelong Nevada guy moved down to Vegas when I was about six years old, six or seven. So I've been in Vegas for the most part my whole life.
Brian Charlesworth 2:09
So you are the first person I've ever met. And I actually used to own a business in Vegas. You are the first person I've ever met that actually grew up in Vegas and stayed in Vegas. Everyone that's in Vegas, is a transplant
Joe Herrera 2:21
Transplant. Right. It's becoming worse and worse too. As California raises its taxes. The infrastructure back east is terrible. People keep flocking to Utah, Nevada, places like this. But yeah, so actually, my wife's born and raised here. I'm born and raised here. So it's we love Vegas.
Brian Charlesworth 2:38
Cool. Well, I'm never gonna be able to say again, you know, but I don't want anybody who grew up in Vegas to stay in Vegas. So congratulations on that one. Thank you. So I'm excited to dig in with you today. I would love for you to share a little bit more about your background. And just kind of maybe let's go back as far as how you got into real estate first. And then maybe we can dig into your time as a tech entrepreneur as well.
Joe Herrera 3:04
Yeah, so it's kind of strange. I come from a long line of alcoholics and paycheck to paycheck living individuals. So on my mom's side, like a funny story, my grandpa was one of the early cartoonists for Disney. So they were on the opening day of Disneyland. 1955 July 17. I never met him because he left when my mom was a little girl. My mom was moving to Nevada, she was a compulsive gambler. So obviously, that's probably not where you expected this to start. But she left when I was like 10 years old. But growing up in Vegas, we have slot machines in every gas station and grocery store. And so when I was a kid, she used to tell me like, Hey, I'm going to play the slot machines. We'd sit there for hours. And on the way home, she'd say, you know, if you don't tell your dad, I won't make you do your homework, which is kind of super disruptive. And but the funny thing is that led to me getting terrible grades. So I graduated high school with a 1.6 GPA. I barely graduated. And so after my after high school, I went on a two-year mission for my church coming home, I think a changed person i i wanted to make something of myself, I wanted to break those generational chains that kind of held me down and have led to a kind of irresponsible living in the whole family dynamic. And so I knew that I didn't want to go to college. If I could get in at all I didn't want to get in. And so my two options at the time were insurance and real estate because I knew I was a good salesperson. So I figured I either would take little paychecks with a big residual income that would come from insurance, or I would take big checks with no residual income that comes with real estate. So I ended up top producer here in Vegas a guy named Frank Napoli I got my real estate license I drove his limo while I was in real estate school. He had a limo that he used to show houses with which was Awesome. And then I, as soon as I got my license, went out knocked on my first door. And I think the third door I knocked, I just said, Hi, my name is Joe. I'm a realtor, and I'm looking for people looking to sell their house the guy was willing to sell. And so that was kind of my entry into real estate. It all kind of came from a desire to have what my family never had, and a willingness to do what my family's never done. And that's kind of been you know, why I got into real estate. I actually wanted to be a personal injury attorney, but I wasn't willing to pay the price to become one. Like, I didn't wanna go to school for eight years, to be one. So real estate, it was real estate or insurance. Were the two options for me.
Brian Charlesworth 5:41
That's interesting. You know, I don't I don't know exactly what the stats are. I heard about a year ago, that I think it was around over 60% of realtors. And it might be higher than that, but it was over 60% of Realtors didn't have a college degree. And so you hear that stat and it's, it's so interesting to me because Realtors used to be realtors, right. I think Realtors now are business builders, in many, many cases, and so there's a clear difference. So when you got into this industry, you know, every realtor, how long have you been in the industry now? 20 years. Okay. So, like, as long as I can remember, and any team owner is going to tell you the same thing. If you ask someone coming into the business how much you want to make, they're always gonna say 100 grand, right? They're always, they're always focused on I want to make six figures. Right. Right. And now, you know, you have people like yourself, who, you know, you've built this super real estate business, that how many you have how many agents now? Joe?
Joe Herrera 6:50
A little bit hard to reach that exact number. So locally, I think we have 120 agents, and then we have a team in Utah and Arizona and then we receive compensation from almost 400 agents. So we've built a kind of like this. So your team generation where, you know, we've got 400 agents we work with,
Brian Charlesworth 7:07
To 400 agents you work with and approximately 120 of those on your team.
Joe Herrera 7:12
Yeah, so we have, we have 20 core team members that are every day in the office full time. And we have about 50 agents that we provide leads in technology for that are on splits with us, then we have another, you know, 300 agents that we mentor and coach and receive a little bit of compensation that way.
Brian Charlesworth 7:32
Okay, so you guys, anyway, it's fascinating to me how people like yourself, you know, you want change, you want to prove, you want to break that chain that's been in your family lines. And you go from, you know, I'm going to sell some real estate, I'm going to build this massive business with 400 agents that are tied to me. And, you know, I don't have any idea how much money you make. But I do know that most people in your situation are making upwards of a million a year, which is more than you would have been making us as you know, an attorney. Right.
Joe Herrera 8:06
Right. So the challenge with our industry is the outside perspective is I can work very little and make a lot. And so people enter the industry that way. So it is interesting that to my friends who are doctors and lawyers, because I'm a marketing guy, I do a lot of social media marketing, they think I play on Facebook all day. And you know, I'm a realtor who just plays on Facebook. But the reality is, I make a lot more money than a lot of them do. And I didn't have to go to school for 12 years. But I think it's an insecurity real estate agents have as well because you can create, but at the same time, when you look at the business practices of Realtors, which I know is your whole thing is how do you create productivity through metrics and tracking and things like that. There's insecurity that lies at the heart of a realtor saying I didn't pay the price that my doctor and lawyer friends did. So I'm not going to run a business the way they run it. I'm going to run around and be part Chip and Joanna Gaines and part accountant and part Transaction Manager and the part handyman to try to almost prove to ourselves that we are something so building a business out of real estate has been a super fun endeavor. But it's just not. Unfortunately, it's not the way a lot of realtors approach their life.
Brian Charlesworth 9:20
Yeah, I mean, that's a big part of how Sisu was born, right to streamline and automate the business and to help realtors who are salespeople to become great leaders. But So Joe, you got into real estate, and then how did you get into marketing? Like marketing so a big part of your real estate career but how did that happen? Because that's very uncommon.
Joe Herrera 9:44
Yeah, so back in 2007, at the beginning of the crash Taylor and I, my business partner, went down to Palm Springs, and heard a guy by the name of our man, what's his name? guy out of Canada, who had his his His whole marketing was super unique. So if you've seen the billboards that are like, you know, we'll sell your home in 10 days or we'll buy it ourselves, Craig Proctor, so into a Craig Proctor seminar, and it was all this advanced marketing. At the time, the internet wasn't really much of anything. But he was, you know, billboards of postcards that would say, you know if your home doesn't sell in 10 days all by cash or whatever it was. And so then we started messing around with Craig's list running a similar type of ads and got a similar type of results. At around that time, though, we sold a real estate brokerage and I just became super burnt out in the real estate industry. And that's when I went into the more dove into the tech industry. spent two years not actively doing anything in real estate. When the tech experiment failed, I came back into real estate 2014 full time, it kind of blended those two things together, like unique marketing concepts that real estate agents can do. The thing that I learned from Craig is he did what everyone else could do. But he just talked about it in a way no one else was willing to talk about it. And so I blended that with social media and technology. And so in 2014, we started executing on Facebook and Instagram, while Facebook first, eventually Instagram. And like, this year, we'll close 300 transactions because of Facebook, we have 50 deals in escrow right now that our leads we generated on Facebook. And so it's become kind of bread and butter the bedrock of our business, but it almost came out of failure, like failing at our tech company, leading to us leveraging technology marketing to fuel our whole business.
Brian Charlesworth 11:39
Okay, so that's very unique. And I think, you know, because it's so unique, it allows someone like Zillow or someone like realtor.com or Redfin or you know, the list goes on and on. Right, right companies to come in and create marketing companies to generate leads, because there are so few of you doing that actually, in the real estate space. So I want to back up just a little bit, though. You talked about selling a brokerage and you just blew right over that. So you went from Craig Proctor which by the way, Craig is still around, he sends us tons of customers. Yeah. And he's awesome. Yeah, we love Craig Proctor in his network. But so you did that. And then you grew this company, this brokerage was that an independent brokerage.
Joe Herrera 12:23
So what happened was in 2010, our REMAX which was the largest REMAX in Nevada, killed it. We got called down to the city center, and there were people spitting fire and magic kisses and all that stuff. Like I'm not kidding like 500 agents showed up in a ballroom at the city center. And they said, Congratulations, you're no longer REMAX agents, you now belong to Better Homes and Gardens. And we're like, okay, that's not the worst thing. They're like, there's a 6% franchise fee, you know, ReMax agents at their core, super independent, you know, pay per transaction type think. So we walked out of that meeting with midget kiss and fires spitting and everything. And we're just like, you know, what do we want to do? So there was a partner of ours or a guy that we knew pretty well that said, Hey, let's just open our own brokerage. So it forced us because we didn't want to be a Better Homes and Gardens guy with a 7% override on all of our business to open our little indie brokerage. So we opened a brokerage here in Las Vegas called simply Vegas. It was an indie brokerage. By the time Taylor and I sold in 2012. I think we had built it up to 150 or 175 agents. So we sold that brokerage two back to our partner, that that was our first kind of brokerage exit at that point.
Brian Charlesworth 13:33
So so I don't know if you're willing to talk about this, but I think there are a lot of people that build brokerages into indie brokerages with the intention of selling those and right, maybe not quite as much as there used to be but I'd love if you would be willing to dive in to like, what kind of multiples do you get on a brokerage like that? I think that I think that's extremely valuable for people who are possibly heading down that road. Right? I mean, is that the best thing you could have done? Or is there better? So love to hear?
Joe Herrera 14:04
Yeah, it's hard, because if you follow the poet Rascal Flatts, you know, they said, You know, God bless the broken road that led us to where we are. So I'm so happy and excited about my world right now that it's hard to look back and say anything was wrong because it just all led to this amazing world that I live in now. The fact is,
Brian Charlesworth 14:22
Okay, so maybe I could ask you in another way. So when most people sell a business, they sell a business so they can retire? Sure. No, not me. I think that's changed a lot to a lot of people say I want to retire Well, maybe it's I want to be independently wealthy. In my opinion, if somebody retires and as soon as they sit on, you know, sit on the couch, and that's how they spend their days, their lives over. Right. So keep growing no matter what you do. But I guess the question is, did that put you in a position where you were independently wealthy and didn't have to work again?
Joe Herrera 14:56
Brian Charlesworth 14:57
Joe Herrera 14:57
So yeah, at the time Time owning a brokerage was the only option like that was we either would work for someone and pay them a split or transaction fees or people would work for us to pay us a split or transaction fees. So at the time in 2010, that was our best option. We made a couple of $100,000 or some I guess it wasn't life-changing. It wasn't like, you know, if we went out to dinner, we might have gone on a trip or something. But there wasn't any like massive wasn't like oh, our world is changed now. Because the fact of the matter is brokerages don't make that much money and brokerages like ours that were dependent on us to run it and or be the face of it, lose their value with all in so like if someone hit me up right now and said, Hey, Joe, I want to start an indie brokerage. My response to them would be there's just such a better way to do things. But at the time, the options that were laid before us, Realty, one group had just launched in Vegas, not long before that, Cuba was killing it. So we're like, hey, let's What if we start a Realty One Group spin-off, but you know, maybe with a little bit nicer office, right? Everything's small, like a rip-off and duplicate r&d off of the previous model. So it's like, well, what if we create Realty One Group but you know, with a class your image or whatever, and it worked to the tune of, you know, a couple $100,000 or whatever, we made some money, but it wasn't, it wasn't like Game Over time like man do I want to work still had to work, there was no option for us at the time. But like looking what it led us into starting a tech company. The tech company had nothing to do with real estate. It was an event-based algorithm where I could say I'm going to be in Salt Lake, December 14 through the 18th. Show me all the events that are happening, cultural concerts, sporting events, and we partnered with Shaquille O'Neal and, and we were publishing events for Naff and Skullcandy. And all these awesome companies. And it failed. We ultimately couldn't get user adoption, but it was almost like selling the brokerage. Let us try that. Letting us try that let us back to real estate. And with that knowledge and experience, we had into building the marketing engine that we use now to fuel our whole business.
Brian Charlesworth 17:10
Okay. So you built I mean, you came in and you're obviously an entrepreneur, right? You build you sell the brokerage, I don't care what amount it was, you build a brokerage? Right. 175 agents, you sold it. You then go and start this tech company, how much money did you raise in your tech company?
Joe Herrera 17:30
A million raised a
Brian Charlesworth 17:31
Million raise a million dollars.
Joe Herrera 17:33
You like friends, and it was the worst kind of money you can raise. It was like friends and family like it took to even talk about it now is crazy because I know you've been in this space before. And you may have had some losers, but like that loss was the most painful, like business thing I've ever went through. Like these were people that I loved and cared about. And at the end of it, we had nothing to show for it. No money. And it was like, sorry, guys, it was the worst. But anyway, yeah, so we raised friends and family
Brian Charlesworth 18:03
Taking chunks of money from friends and family, hoping to make them millions doing everything you can to just, I mean, I'm sure your world at that time was whatever it takes working super long hours, right? We're gonna do whatever it takes to prove this out. And then all of a sudden, here you are two years later, and you're like, we're done. Like, how did you decide to end? That's always a that's a hard one. Right? Do you keep trying to figure it out and shifting it? Or do you just say we're done? How did you guys come up with that decision?
Joe Herrera 18:40
So we ran it. So at the time, Instagram had just been acquired by Facebook. And all people cared about there was no discussion of profitability. It was all about daily active users. That's all that people cared about at the time. So like we met with, so my next-door neighbor growing up, believe it or not, was we lost touch for four or five years. And then he showed up and his Facebook friend request me and there were all these pictures of him and Jimmy Fallon and all this stuff. It turns out, he started a company called digg.com. And he ran a podcast called Diggnation. He's one of the early investors in Twitter and Google Ventures and all this stuff, a guy named Kevin Rose. So we met with Kevin Avange. And he was like, hey, tech companies don't come out of the Silicon Valley. They're just never gonna make it, you've got a good idea. Ideas are a dime a dozen. So we're going through this whole process. And we got to a point where it was like Shaq was our partner like we were texting every day. And he was talking about us on Twitter. And like he was doing everything he could to help us grow. And our just daily active user account never changed. Like we couldn't. We got 80,000 users downloads, and then 1200 people would show up every day to use the app. And so we couldn't raise institutional money because we didn't have enough daily active users. And we just didn't have we couldn't go back to friends and family. began to raise more money. So we just kind of came to a, we could keep executing on this and trying, but we can't get the money we need institutionally, we don't have the heart to, or to go back and try to raise more friends and family money. So it was like, I don't remember exactly the day was 2014. We had, you know, as a tech entrepreneur, you'll know you've got, you've got 90 days, a roadmap, and then 60 and then 30. And it's like, alright, we can make one more payroll, we can pay the AWS, the Amazon Web Services, like one more time to keep the app active. But it was like, you know, we've got to get an infusion of money. And so we just, we just hit a point to where like, all right, it's, you know, we gave it a good try. So it was, it was sad. I, I wouldn't, I threw all the gear out of my house. I didn't want to see any shirts and hats. My kids loved wearing our swag. We threw it all away, like, anytime an old Facebook reminder post would come up. It was like a punch in the gut. So it was painful.
Brian Charlesworth 21:04
Yeah, I've experienced those. So I think most people, well, maybe not most people, but there's, there's just a certain personality that is going to go through something like that and get back up. And, you know, you guys were told by this guy in Silicon Valley, that you need to be in San Francisco, you're never gonna be able to do this. Do you know how many times I've been told that in my life, the great thing about this world is probably no one? I no longer hear that those companies are all moving out of San Francisco today. Right? So that right has shifted anyway. Anyway, so you, you make that decision. And now it's like, Hey, we're back in real estate, real estate is what we know. And now we're gonna take some of these things we've learned and apply them in real estate is that kind of how you, you made that next move.
Joe Herrera 22:05
Yeah, so it was Taylor kind of kept running the real estate company the whole time. And so it was like, Hey, let's get back in. But let's do a different. So he found, the big thing was, let's use social media to blow up our real estate career, like blow up in a good way. Like, let's use social media to put us on steroids. And so he found a company out of Boston, a company called curator that was like, social media for real estate agents. So we started messing around with that we were running there, you'll remember back in the day, the automated, like, how much is my home worth ads on Facebook? Yeah. So we ran some of those. And then we remembered our Craig Proctor lessons. And we're like, Well, what if we do it creatively, it's always kind of like, you know, I told Taylor, like, I've got to do this different I can't get back into just going out and showing houses and doing the same old thing anymore. And so we ran our first couple of test ads, I remember we took crappy pictures of an old house, put it on Facebook, and said, Hey, great deal, hit us up if you want any information, and people started to hit us up. And I think we generated like 20 leads that day. And I was like, hey, maybe there's something to this, you know, and so just kind of caught on that way. We didn't understand at the time, some of the psychology that goes behind social media, you know, like attractive people are the most clicked upon items in, on the internet. And then after that is probably attractive houses. And then after that is probably food. So there was a lot of stuff we had going for. So we didn't realize it, but running our tech company taught us the value of social media, and what can be done. And so then, moving into kind of the reboot, it was like, well, let's leverage what we learned to blow it up in the real estate.
Brian Charlesworth 23:46
And what year was that?
Joe Herrera 23:48
‘14 is when the tech company shuts down. And when we kind of got back all in on real estate.
Brian Charlesworth 23:56
Okay, so from ‘14 to 2021, I guess you ran this independent brokerage. So for several years.
Joe Herrera 24:07
We stayed where we were, so we stayed we kept our licenses at our old brokerage until 2016. So in 2016, we realized it'd be cheaper to run our team out of our own office and cut our own paychecks. We were doing enough business and had enough agents that it was like, rather than paying 500 bucks a transaction to that guy, we'll just pay it to ourselves. So we opened love local real estate in 2016. Starting with 10 agents built it up to 100 and 140 agents by 2021. Okay, so in 20 famous say premise like a nice office version of Realty One Group. That's basically what we were.
Brian Charlesworth 24:45
Okay. So and Realty One has actually pretty nice offices, so you guys must have really nice office. So So yeah, now you go 2021 All of a sudden, you're saying hey, we can make more money. or we could do better. We could do things differently. I don't know what your thought process was, but you go from running an independent brokerage. Now you're a part of you made recently made a move into real brokerage. Right? So, like how
Joe Herrera 25:14
Brian Charlesworth 25:15
How did you guys decide to get back involved with another brokerage rather than just sticking out with your independent brokerage?
Joe Herrera 25:22
So our number one pain point is brokerage owners was attrition like they're there, we couldn't, we can recruit, we knew we could. So we could bring on 80 to 100 agents a year. But statistically speaking of those 80 agents, we bring on 25 of them are going to leave. So it was like this two, step forward, one step back two steps forward, one step back. And the biggest pain point we had was our we would bring an agent into our world, and help them succeed. So in six months, they will close eight or 10 transactions. And then they became like the number one target for every other indie brokerage in Vegas, they call them and say, Hey, I know what your splits are, we can do a little bit better, or, you know, like, Hey, if you come over here, we'll put you on a billboard or whatever stupid offering there was. But that became our biggest pain point was, we bring on 80 20 of them are going to leave and of those 20 that leaves 10, or 15, will be the ones that we actually help be successful. And then the other five will be people who do nothing. So I hated that funnel of come in. And then our top producers are like bait for every other indie agent or indie brokerage in Vegas. So we were approached by another shop, a national brokerage that wanted to enter into Vegas. And they offered to buy 51% of our company for, you know, a couple of million dollars. So we'd net cash of 500,000 bucks or whatever. And then we get paid out the rest over a period of time. And
Brian Charlesworth 26:47
You're not going to tell us who that was. I have a guess.
Joe Herrera 26:52
an NDA. And I don't know when that expires. But yeah, we can talk about it offline. So anyway, they came in and said, We want to buy you guys for $2 million, we'll pay you or 2.3 or some we'll pay up 1.1, we'll pay you 40% of it. Now the other 60% is in and out, you guys stay on as 49% shareholders, and then at that time, we took that offer to our mentor Gani Brett down in Phoenix. And he was like, Well, if you guys are open to other ideas, have you heard about the real broker and so at the time, we hadn't, we had been approached by eXp years ago. And at a time machine, I probably go back and take that offer, because I know a bunch of people who became millionaires. But so he kind of offered us a glimpse into what a real broker was, that solved all of our problems without us having to continue to grind it something that we were struggling at completing ourselves. So once I took the pill to realize there was a really good way for real estate agents like it was almost like The Matrix. You know, like, once I took that pill, I came to the conclusion that the traditional brokerage model is a unilaterally beneficial system where like, as I broker, I was, I was making a little piece of everybody's business, but everybody was their own little island. And at the end of the year, I would hand them 1099, and maybe like a hoodie, to say like, thanks for being awesome. But then there wasn't much else that I could offer them in the way of helping them grow their business. So I could give them leads. And I could do things like that. But it was always this trading commission packages for check stumps. And so we signed real an opportunity to partner with all of our agents. So we went to our 100 agents and said, Hey, we want you to be our partner. So let's all become shareholders in the same company. So that was kind of that happened. So June of this year, we made that transition from the indie brokerage into the real broker system.
Brian Charlesworth 28:45
Okay, June, so almost six months now, has that had an impact? It sounds like the main reason you did that. And maybe I'm wrong. Just sounds like it from your story. The main reason you did that was to reduce churn. Is that correct? And
Joe Herrera 29:03
Reducing churn was a big thing. So we had a full-time recruiter, and we were always recruiting other agents from other offices. And so we'd say and we had kind of started looking at real similar financial concepts as eXp. And so, eXp is like, Vegas is scorched earth for eXp like it's been here for four years, and everybody's been approached about it. And so, we turned to our recruiter and said, Hey, so talk about our recruiting efforts. And I think she was like, we brought on 10 agents this month, and I'm like, Oh, great job. Where are they from? kW, we could always get kW agents Realty One Group we could always get Realty One Group agents, Berkshire Hathaway, yada. And I was like, that's cool. Well, who can't we recruit? And she said I can't get a single eXp agent even to take my phone call. No, like why? And she said they keep telling me they have ownership. I don't even know what it means, but they own their company or they're getting revenue share whatever and I turned to Taylor and we're like, bro, there's our answer. Like we need to get in In a world to where if we help someone succeed, it actually, they stay with us longer and become our partners for life, as opposed to helping them succeed. And then they become like, attraction bait for every other brokerage in Vegas. So coming on board real, on June 15, we launched with 90 agents here in Las Vegas. And we're currently up to just shy of 400 in our network. So it's been 5x growth almost in that time. And I think by February, we'll probably end up with about 1000 agents that we work with mentorship coaching lead generation, I love the expansion aspect of it. So it's changed our world that in Vegas, we had this brick and mortar office that we were restricted to and since coming over, we opened a team up in Utah. So we've got five agents up there that we do Lead gen because again, going back to my core as a lead generator, so we generate leads for that group up in Utah, we have another team down in Arizona, we do the same thing for so it's just for me, it's a dream world because there are no boundaries to my growth anymore.
Brian Charlesworth 31:06
So you know, you've gone from being a local Vegas, call it brokerage to being a national real estate company, basically.
Joe Herrera 31:15
Exactly. Yeah. And it's, I mean, I was just on the phone with someone from Canada, and we're launching in Oklahoma and it is just so fun because I because of my unique skill set of lead generation, I generate realtor.com Zillow quality leads for 1/20 of the cost. It requires me so I'm still kind of geeking out playing on Facebook, like my doctor and lawyer friends say I do. It's true. But it allows me to generate leads in any marketplace plug and play. And so now it's just who's the right person for us in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who's the right person and in you know, Buffalo, New York, and then we just get that team leader there, we start building around them. And it's kind of will take care of all the leads in the backend, you just go get us agents and it's this perfect marriage of letting them because you know better than anybody, Brian like, it's impossible for one human being to be a great lead generator, a great lead converter, a great transaction organizer, like an agent that puts a deal together and a great transaction facilitator on the transaction management side. Most real estate agents try to be all four things the Rainmaker, the filtration system, and the distribution system. It's It's nuts. So we just very much compartmentalize our business. And I go okay, I am the Rainmaker. And then we have our transaction management team, and what we expect from an agent. And so like, as you can tell, I get really excited about this, because I can just plug and play in any market. And a national company like real allows me to expand, I don't have to get my license in Arizona or Utah or Oklahoma, I can just find that team leader blow up their business and in off to the races.
Brian Charlesworth 32:55
So thanks for sharing that. We're getting short on time, Joe. So I have a couple of other questions for you. But like what are some of the other key things you've done to your business this year? Other than changing from an indie brokerage over to a real brokerage? What are some other key things that you've done that have like making a difference in your business? I'm guessing there are other things that that attribute to your growth, but maybe not
Joe Herrera 33:18
So this morning, I was on training this, this is going to sound like scripted, I promise you it's not but you shared something on Instagram last night about that your production will double 107% I think to double team growth if you track your numbers if you actually keep track of what you're doing. And one thing you've helped me understand is that for the last, you know, 20 years I've governed not governed I've led my team based on emotions. So it's like so and so seems happy. They're here on time. They're smiling. They're fun, and our team meetings like, that's how we've run our team. Taylor is much more analytical. So he's helped us get the analysis. He's the one that found Sisu. He's helped us get analytical. But now I'm able to lead and guide based on statistics and numbers and effort and like it's just changed the way we look at our team. It allowed us to run the analytics to realize that to hit our core team production goal next year, we have to double the size of the team. In the past, it'd be like, Well, how would everyone feel about this? And how does it affect morale and all these things which are still important, but numerically speaking, if I want to produce x, I have to walk it back and start with a which is the number of contacts we make has to improve? Well, if we improve the number of contexts is limited to the human ability to reach context, so let's just double the number of people trying to get contacts trying to set appointments, as you taught me to like the peak of the mountain is appointments met, how do we get more appointments met? Well, we have more people doing the other activities. So that's been a big change in our business is to focus on focus on the production activities no longer lead a team based on emotion. But on numbers. We've opened a title company, we're working on a mortgage. So like we're really focused on if we have this one instance, which is the closing of a residential or commercial real estate transaction, how many different ways can we monetize that same, that same transaction. So rather than just saying we get buyer commission and a split, what if we say we get revenue share when anyone in our network sells a home? That's another deal? What if we say we get stock? When do we hit predict production goals? That's another one. What if we get a piece of the title? What if we get a piece of mortgage? What if we offer them insurance? So we're really working on that ancillary piece? To say, if we can direct 1000 transactions in our world? How can we turn that into 5000 pay points by monetizing that transaction in five different ways? So yeah, those are all things we're focused on this year.
Brian Charlesworth 36:00
Those are great things to be focused on. And obviously, it makes me happy to hear that you guys are leading by numbers and results.
Joe Herrera 36:09
We are now, it's been emotional until this point.
Brian Charlesworth 36:11
The fun thing about that is I see it over and over and over again, people will actually be attracted to your business, because they know you're running your business that way, that alone is an attractor. But then offering all of these ancillaries, I see more and more team owners today focused on the ancillaries. Because you guys are the first ones in the with the client and you kind of dictate where they go. So why give that business away to everybody else, you know, and you have you now have the mortgage companies Rocket Mortgage is coming into real estate, right? And so it's these boundaries of these different industries that are all blending together right now. So it's gonna be
Joe Herrera 36:49
Well, good to your point, it always starts with that. That core, like if you look at a human relationship, intimacy is really the driving factor. It's like everything else is spawned from the desire for human connection and intimacy. Well, in real estate, everybody wants to buy a house. Nobody, like lenders, is always like, we'll send you leads. Nobody goes, Hey, can I get a loan? And then let me go find a house, every single buyer in the world says, let me find a house. Now I'll figure everything else out from there. So like, accidentally, we ended up at the top of the totem pole, because everybody starts with let me go see a house. And so now building those ancillary services becomes relatively easy. I would hate to be building from the, you know, mortgage company side or insurance side and saying, like, hey, let's, let's create some real estate transactions. The real tour is the top of the total poll that can make that happen.
Brian Charlesworth 37:43
Yeah, I totally agree with that. The last question I have for you like, what do you I know, you're a family, man. What do you and your family like to do? When you're not selling real estate? And my guess is because I know you're having fun now, selling real estate, you just shared that with us. You're probably working more than you have in the past. Right. So how do you Well, how do you balance that with family life? And what is it you like to do? What are some things you and your family like to do?
Joe Herrera 38:11
Well, great question. I think you could probably agree, I tell my team and my family all the time like I'm more successful now than I've ever been. But I've never been so motivated. And I'm literally that's just a gratitude statement. Because I there, I always wondered, like if I get to a point to where I don't necessarily have to work for a while, what I stopped, because I come from that background of paycheck to paycheck. And so my paycheck to paycheck date is years in the future before I have to worry about that. So, my family, we go to church every Sunday, we play a lot of golf, I put a golf simulator in our house. So me and my boys, I'm obsessed with time. And I've got a 17-year-old son that this summer, he'll be heading out on a mission. And so he'll be gone for two years. So I bought a golf membership. And I put a golf simulator in and it's where we connect. I figured out a long time ago, that it's much easier for me to find out what he's interested in and come to his level and try to force him to be interested in what I'm interested in. So it started with a fortnight, like four years ago, me and my son were playing fortnight together. And then he came to me one day and said, Dad, I want to play golf again. And I was like, let's go get a membership. And now I spent two to three afternoons a week with my 17-year-old son playing golf. I spend four or five nights a week with my nine-year-old son on our simulator at home, we play par three courses, and he's getting pretty good. We're buying that place up in Utah, which will be a family retreat for us to get away. Because I know you've got kids that have kind of grown-up and I'm just really obsessed with this principle that my most valuable possession is not a car or a house or a real estate company. It is time and all and I just have a little bit of it with my four kids my 17-year-olds going out next year. I've got a 15-year-old got two more years, a 12-year-old has got four more years, or five, five more years. And so it's like, I'm just obsessed with that principle that if I don't manage my time carefully with my family, while I'm super excited and motivated with my business, but don't manage my time, I'll look back with a whole bunch more success, and realize that I wasted all my time. So I now use my money to purchase time, as opposed to my time to purchase money. So it's volleyball trips, and golf, games, golf, we just went on a Disney cruise. So I like to use my money to buy time with my kids, as opposed to you focusing on using my time to create more money.
Brian Charlesworth 40:39
Yeah, that's such great advice. Joe, I think we'll end on that. Thank you so much for joining me on the show today, to all of our followers and listeners, please, if you haven't gone out, give us a recommendation, give us a rating that helps us bring people like Joe on the show. And so, Joe, you really gave a different aspect. You have a totally different story than I've heard from anybody else in this business. So really appreciate you sharing that story with us today. And including, including the hard times right, including those losses. I think those are what make us stronger. And congratulations on getting back up and winning that fight.
Joe Herrera 40:16
Brian Charlesworth 40:17
All right. Thanks, everyone.